By ELIZABETH KANIPE
Radford traveled to Carroll County Friday and looked to continue their winning ways against the Cavaliers. Carroll County had lost five straight after winning their first game against Patrick County. The night would go in Radford’s favor.
Carroll County won the coin toss and elected to receive. Like most teams Radford has faced this season, Carroll’s strategy was to control the clock to keep the Bobcat’s offense off the field. They ran the ball up the middle or off tackle all night. In the first series, the Cavaliers got two first downs before being held and forced to punt. Radford has been used to scoring quickly all season. Their first drive took 10 plays before Landen Clark hit Marcell Baylor at the 9 yard line where he avoided the double team and ran to the goal line. The Bobcats led 7-0.
The Cavaliers continued to try to run the ball between the tackles to control the clock. Radford continued to adjust and held on 4th and 2 to force the turnover on downs. This time the Bobcats didn’t take long to score. After an incomplete pass and a short run, Clark hit Max Kanipe on a screen pass where he out ran the Cavalier defenders to score from 31 yards out.
The next drive for Carroll County was cut short when on 3rd and 7, QB Elijah Cox rolled left and threw the ball directly to Kanipe for the interception at the Radford 29 yard line. Like the first drive, Radford slowly worked down the field with the help of several David Woodward runs and passes to Baylor and Parker Prioleau. The Bobcats extended their lead to 21-0 when Woodward scored from 3 yards out. The Bobcats next possession came when Prioleau blocked the William Burnett punt attempt. Dawson Martin recovered the ball at the 35 and returned it all the way to the 7 yard line giving Radford first and goal. Clark finished the drive after scrambling and finding a wide open Luke Woodard for a 5 yard TD pass. The extra point kick hit the right upright leaving the score 27-0 with 55 seconds left in the half.
The second half started with Radford’s Ethan Brown recovering the onside kick attempt at the 49 yard line. On the first play, Clark hit Woodward on a screen pass. Woodward made a great cut to avoid losing yardage and turned up the Bobcat sideline to complete a 51 yard TD reception. The Bobcats’ lead was now 34-0 just 22 seconds into the second half.
Radford then forced the Cavaliers to punt after three downs. Linebacker Sam Khandan-Barani snagged the line drive punt at the 36 and returned it 19 yards to put the Bobcats back in the red zone. Clark immediately hit Prioleau on a wide receiver screen who cut his way down the sideline for a 17 yard TD. Radford now led 41-0 with 9:01 left in the 2nd quarter.
With a running clock and large lead, Radford substituted in their second team defense and offense. Carroll was able to score twice with Cox hitting Landon Harmon from 22 and 18 yards out to put Carroll on the scoreboard. Radford won with a final score of 41-12.
Radford’s Clark had another big day at quarterback. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 214 yards. His 5 touchdown passes gave him the all time single season TD record at 29. The previous record of 28 was held by Ken Alderman during his 1972 Championship season. Woodward also had a big day. He carried the ball 11 times for 62 yards and one touchdown. He also had one reception for 51 yards and a touchdown. Prioleau led the receivers with 3 receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown. Baylor finished with 2 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown and Kanipe added 2 catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. Radford’s passing-oriented offense has averaged 41 points per game this season. The Bobcats are averaging 257 yards passing per game compared to their opponents 45 yards passing per game.
Radford gets a much needed week off before finishing the regular season starting at Floyd on October 21st. This game could decide the winner of the Three Rivers District this season.